Monday, May 26, 2014

Will: LBJ ’s Legacy

Will: LBJ 's legacy: Civil rights wins, 'Great' tragedy | Boston Heraldsobering statistics

In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing "just about always or most of the time." Today, 19 percent do. The former number is one reason Johnson did so much; the latter is one consequence of his doing so.

Barry Goldwater, Johnson's 1964 opponent, assumed that Americans would vote to have a third president in 14 months. It was a landslide defeat. After voters rebuked FDR in 1938 for attempting to "pack" the Supreme Court, Republicans and Southern Democrats prevented any liberal legislating majority in Congress until 1965. That year, however, when 68 senators and 295 representatives were Democrats, Johnson was unfettered.

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